Friday, January 3, 2014


Richmond Revolutionaries (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:   How depressing. I had Goldenbaer pegged to win this division and unfortunately so did he. He stripped off all his clothes and painted himself Purple, then ran thru the the streets like a WingDing-a-Ling. Goldenbaer was carted off in a strait-jacket to the Betty Ford Clinic. He may want to consider a drinking addiction like myself......better to look at life thru Bourbon shaded glasses,thats my coping mechanism.Last year Washington had bad hitting (.262 BA-21st), pitching (4.82 ERA, 1.43 WHIP-23rd) and defense (126 errors, .979 FPct-31st). Ihateunc took over this once proud franchise and moved them down the road to Richmond. Probably to get closer to his nemesis the University of North Carolina.The story here is that Richmond went out and traded for most of the new guys on this team. Ihateunc has a idea of players that he prefers over the last owner. Right now the Revolutionaries still will be one of the worst defensive teams in the AL, but they will be very much improved at the dish. The rotation is average and the bullpen is a little better. If Richmond's hitting can overcome the defense the Revolutionaries will finish above .500. They will have to prove it to me before I go out on the limb and buck the satus quo. PREDICTION: 78-84

OUT: Miguel BaezKendry Pena , Perry Franco

IN:  Ramiro PenaEmil AguilarHarry Padilla

PREVIEW: O K Richmond proved it. They eked out a division win with 88 wins 10 games above my prediction. In last years preview, I wondered if this years offense could overcome this years porous defense (108 errors-23rd, .983 FPct -23rd) and this years below average pitching (4.63 ERA-20th, 1.44 WHIP-21st). They did ,and the Revolutionaries finished with the #2 hitting club with a .287 BA and 922 runs (3rd highest) while giving up 825 runs (12th highest). Ihateunc took his team into the post-season as the #3 seed and were upset by the Misfits in 3. Still it was a good first season for Ihateunc and I look forward to seeing what he does in the off-season. He re-signed Michael Henry , Geronimo Cruz and Jimmie Nieves and let Baez and Pena go to free agency. Then he waived Franco who was picked-up by the Kickapoos. He signed free agent Pena and traded for Aguillar and Padilla. With the signing of Pena , Franco was the odd man out . Pena has averaged 12 wins the past 3 seasons,  he also has averaged close to 10 losses in the same 3 seasons. It's a tad better than Francos 8-10 season last year.Padilla is a career .319 hitter and will be a good replacement for Baez. With the tweaks, the Revolutionaries got a little better,but I think the improved Pirates will edge Richmond for the division. PREDICTION:89-73

Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Last years Pirates didn't scare anyone with 78 wins. The Scurvy Dogs had terrible hitting (.258 BA-28th) and defense (105 errors,.983 FPct-26th). The only thing that they could hang their sails on was the average pitching (4.36 ERA, 1.38 WHIP-16th). The worm in the pirates biscuit was the drop off of the defense. It went from one of the best to one of the worst ARRRGGGHHH!The Pirates improved the defense and swapped hitters with Arizona in free agency. Will Estrada be better than Walker??? Average ..yes...Homers ...No. Ard brought in some pitching including a very good closer. My guess he wasn't happy with the one run game record of 15-17. This division is his for the taking if the Pirates play like...the real Pittsburgh Pirates. I think this team will be in the mix for the division crown.PREDICTION:86-76

OUT:  Anthony RupeRick SurkampKarim PaniaguaOscar Li , Junior Tavarez

IN: Fernando UrbinaJuan PenaCal DonatelloParker NelsonEdgar CarrascoOzzie D'Amico

PREVIEW:  Ards Pirates finished close to my prediction and was in the division race right up to the end. They came up a game short in that race and missed the wild-card by 2 games. Arrrggghhh Matey! Last year Pittsburgh had the #2 defense with only 75 errors committed and a FPct of  .988. The pitching was good (4.32 ERA-11th, 1.36 WHIP-11th) and the hitting was about average (.267 BA-14th, 826 runs-13th). In the off-season Ard re-signed Jimmie James and let Rupe, Surkamp, Paniagua and Li go to free agency. He released Tavarez to finish the minor house cleaning. To replace them he signed free agent Urbina and Pena and promoted Donatello,Nelson,Carrasco and D'Amico. The Pirates got younger with several players going to free agency and retirement. He promoted some mid-level prospects that are ready for the bigs. Ard has done a great job here and this team is my pick for the division win. But it will be close with Richmond playing well. PREDICTION:90-72(Division Winner)


LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  The Knights did finish below .500 ,but they did beat my prediction. Avantrael's guys had good hitting (.280 BA-7th) but was lower than the previous year. The rust in the Armour was the piching (4.82 ERA,1.47 WHIP-24th) and defense (108 errors, .982 FPct-26th)......yet again. In fact things got pretty dicey at the end of last season. When several Southy's cornered Avantrael and told him to pack his bags or try to walk without knees. So he moved the team to beautiful Augusta Maine where the people are more docile.Augusta will try to fix the pitching problem with a couple free agents and a R-5 player. They improved the offense in the trades. Nothing was done for the 26th ranked defense. It will be a 70'ish season for the first year in Maine. PREDICTION:77-85

OUT: Giomar MolinaLen HawkinsJunior MaedaTerrence Munoz

IN: Howard AllenCristobal FernandezDavey Wise

PREVIEW:  Avantrael's Northmen finished just a tad south of my 77 win prediction. Augusta won 75 games with good pitching (4.31 ERA-10th, 1.37 WHIP-13th) and good defense (91 errors-11th, .985 FPct-12th). They did however sport the third worst offensive club (.247 BA-30th, 666 runs-30th) and it was their downfall. In the off-season Avatrael let Molina, Hawkins, Maeda and Munoz go to free agency. Then he signed free agents Allen, Fernandez and Wise. Avantrael still has a couple roster spots open as I write this. He has some players in AAA he may call up or maybe he will play the waiver wire game. But I do know that the free agent pitchers he picked up will improve a already good pitching staff. He will need some offense to be a contender.PREDICTION: 80-82

Louisville RedTails (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  The Redtails did break the .500 mark and also won the division crown. Jmuhtoff has been in this league for awhile and is one of the nicest owners we have. It's good to see him back in the playoffs . Last years Louisville team had good hitting (.272 BA-10th) and defense (90 errors,.985 FPct-13th). The pitching (4.81 ERA,1.42 WHIP-22nd) was below average and might be the reason they didn't finish better. But hey! they made the playoffs and went in as the #4 seed .They were considered underdogs when they faced a 99 win Salem team. The Redtails won in 5 games and shocked the Wrigleyville community. In the DCS they faced the #1 seeded Cobras and lost in 4 games. Still a very nice showing Jmuhtoff.Louisville plays in a weak division and it is a good thing they do. Jmuhtoff brought in some veteran M L players and they will not disappoint him.PREDICTION:88-74

OUT: Antone TeagardenBob NeugebauerRheal ScottClayton BraggRandy LowellBruce BurrellPeter Griffin

IN: Cesar GonzalezHarold EdwardsJim Creek , Davey RenteriaJeffrey MorenoCorey O'Brien , Woody SullivanKhalil PryceLouis RamirezKyle RomeroMarty Allen

PREVIEW: Jmuhtoff Waved the white flag early last year. Check out his trades in last years update. The Week In Wrigleyville Season 24 #2 . So my prediction was way off due to Louisville's re-tool. What direction will the Redtails take in the future remains a mystery. In the off-season Jmuhtoff re-signed Jake Alston and let Teagarden, Neugebauer, Scott, Bragg, Lowell,Burrell and griffin go to free agency. Then he claimed Gonzalez, Edwards and Creek off the wire. He signed free agents Renteria, Moreno and O'Brien and promoted Sullivan and Pryce. Finally he brought in Ramirez, Romero and Allen through earlier trades. Jmuhtoff lowered his overall salaries by 29 million. He also traded away some nice prospects for Allen,Romero and Ramirez, and they are solid players. Looking at the franchise rankings they will give up alot of fly balls but won't walk many. Defensively they have the worst arm strength and accuracy, Offensively they have the best hitting eye with the other categories about average.  Looks like a average year. PREDICTION:81-81

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